Value-added school testing

Kevin Drum talks about the US No Child Left Behind act. Sandy Kress, a Texas school reformer who was involved with the act’s creation, says that the original approach of universal standards and absolute results is leading to problems in schools in affluent communities as well as disadvantaged ones. She suggests an alternative:

…The “value added” school-rating metric provides a more accurate picture of which schools are actually educating their students well. It is also fairer to schools and teachers working with the most disadvantaged kids. It pressures them to perform without penalizing them for taking on the hardest assignments in education. Conversely, the system doesn’t reward rich schools with privileged students merely for standing still. Passing the state test, an easy task for many of their students, is not good enough.

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